If you have a book coming out - either in hard copy or digital - then you're probably thinking a lot about promotion. Everyone has their own take on how to go about promoting a book. After all, if you want to make sales, you need to make your book stand out from the crowd.
I've been pondering this a lot lately because I'll have a book out on Kindle this next week. Actually, it will be a Kindle release as well as a print copy released by CreateSpace. I'll tell you more about that later in the week. For now, let's focus on you and your book.
How do you do this? Start by asking yourself 6 questions. Write them on whatever works for you: a piece of paper or keyed into your computer and displayed on your monitor. Leave space after each to fill in your answers. Give focused thought to this, and that means take your time and actually write your answers.
1. What makes your book different from all the other books lining the physical and cyber shelves?
Trust me, every book is different because a writer filters all ideas through her own brain. All your experiences, attitudes, and personality make the way you write an idea different from anyone else. You just have to figure out how your take on a subject is different from the same idea written by another author. This is usually easier with nonfiction than fiction.
2. What is your niche, your area of expertise that gives you credibility as the author of this particular book?
If your book has a housewife in desperation then those women will be interested. If you're a talented rose gardener writing a nonfiction book about ecologically safe ways to keep fungus off roses, then you've got a built in audience of other gardeners. Again, nonfiction is easier than fiction.
3. Who are the people who will be interested in that specific area of interest, that niche?
With the rose gardening book, every garden club in America and abroad fits your demographics. Heck, I'd be interested if I hadn't given up on old roses and planted with the fabulous Knockout Rose.
4. How do you find those people who will want your book?
Start locally and branch out. Garden clubs, civic organizations, any group in need of a speaker. The Internet brings you an international audience. Cultivate them.
5. What are you willing to do to promote your book?
Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone. Will you speak to groups? Will you do book signings? Will you give a workshop at the library? Will you wear a tee shirt that says: "Ask me about my book" and be willing to respond if someone does? Will you go to writing club meetings? Will you write free articles and submit them to article sites or club newsletters?
6. What are you willing to give up in order to have a successful book?
This follows the philosophy that you have to make room in your life for something new. To have a book success, you might have to give up your daytime soap or your night time game show. Maybe you have to quit playing Freecell, Solitaire, or whatever your game of choice may be. I've never seen someone succeed in a meaningful way unless they gave something up. It just seems to be a universal truth that you can have anything you want, but you can't have everything.
I hope you'll think deeply about these questions because I think the answers will help you position your book and yourself for success.